But the best joke of all is contained in HR 3200, which the House Ways and Means Committee approved last week. At 1,018 pages, I'm just now reading the text. Section 102 of HR 3200 is titled "Protecting the choice to keep current coverage," but sub-section (a)(1)(A) details (see page 15) a "limitation on new enrollment" of "grandfathered" private plans:
Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1 [the year the legislation becomes law].Last year, Obama promised: "If you've got health care already, and probably the majority of you do, then you can keep your plan if you are satisfied with it." Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee said (grammar in original) "If an individual likes their current plan, they will be able to keep it." What they really meant: welcome to the government-provided plan. Investor's Business Daily rightly concludes:
So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised -- with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.One upside: it's possible that changing jobs in three or seven years might undermine President Obama's desire to stick with private health insurance coverage. Still, his "public plan" probably will be better: he and his family are entitled to free medical care for life.